Uncontainable Glory

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I’m camping out in the last third of Acts. Here, the threat posed to unconverted Jews by Paul’s missionary project comes to a head. He has returned to Jerusalem, and he is recognized as one who has been promoting God’s Kingdom to Gentiles. At one point (in Acts 22), he is addressing a crowd that wants to kill him. They are listening quietly right up until he says, ‭“Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’” (v. 21)

Luke writes, ‭‭“The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, ‘Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!’” (v. 22)

We must ask ourselves why the listeners were so enraged by Paul’s mission. Were they afraid of some great loss? (***And what about us, in the battles WE wage?***)

I’m reminded of that strange little passage in John chapter 12 where some of his disciples inform Jesus that there are Greeks wishing to meet him. John writes, ‭“Jesus replied, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.’” (vv. 23, 24)

There’s a lot to unpack in that seeming non-sequitur. In short (when did a poet ever unpack anything?!), God’s glory is revealed when his self-sacrificial love for the world confronts man’s selfish tribalism.

Be on the lookout for where you oppose God’s loving purpose. The little glimmer you’re protecting WILL be put to shame by God’s glory.

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